'It's not 1965, but it feels like it', local student says about Tulsa shooting

Caresse Jackman talks to local college students and a criminology professor about recent police shootings.

NEW ORLEANS -- In the aftermath of the Alton Sterling shooting in Baton Rouge, a police-involved shooting in Tulsa is alarming.

Video shows 40-year-old Terence Crutcher being shot and killed Friday by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"At least it's not 1965, it feels like it though," said Xavier University senior Marissa Johnson.

Johnson grew up in New Orleans, but attended high school 45 minutes from Tulsa. For her, the video is heartbreaking. She said she doesn't believe all cops are bad, but can't deny, living life as an African-American woman is difficult and exhausting.

"You have everyone sitting at a table, right,” explained Johnson. “And we're all sitting there and we're all eating, but this person has less on their plate! And it's like, 'Oh yeah, we're all eating right, it should be fine.’ No! I'm still hungry. My entire race and culture is hungry and we're suffering!"

For many students on Xavier’s campus, seeing African-Americans repeatedly being killed by police troubles them.

"It's almost like they don't perceive us as people,” said Kristian Bailey. “It's like we're just like something that's always threatening to somebody, when it's really not the case."

Bailey said whenever he's out he keeps his guard up, a burden he believes many young African-Americans men face every single day.

"I'm fearful that if I get stopped by the police, or if I need help, how are they going to perceive me?” said Bailey. “Are they going to think I'm just some thug on the street? Or are they going to see me for what I am, a college student trying to be successful?"

Former New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said when police are put in tough situations, officers are faced with making tough decisions on the spot.  Serpas said officers, and the people they protect, would benefit from training that emphasizes de-escalation.

"Bottom line is this, when police officers act as guardians, they are able to do so many more things to advance public safety,” said Serpas, now a Loyola University professor. “Personal safety, and their own safety. If we can find more of that, then we might see less of these kinds of shootings."
The officer who fired at Crutcher has been placed on administrative leave, and the FBI is investigating the shooting.


(© 2016 WWL)


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment